After six years of living in San Diego, yesterday, I finally righted a wrong. The wrong? I had never visited the Del Mar Race Track. Never. You don’t not visit the race track if you live in San Diego. Opening Day alone is akin to a national holiday. Everyone goes. And while there, they try to out dress and out hat each other. The date is circled and re-circled on calendars all around the county and beyond. I’ll be honest, I didn’t really get the why of that until I went myself. The race track, as I now understand, is an experience. One that everyone who visits San Diego or lives here really should have–at least once.
While the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club (the race track) is thoroughly modern, it retains a 1950s old Hollywood vibe. I could almost feel Frank Sinatra’s presence. Almost…
Horse racing is definitely the focus at Del Mar, but I appreciated the fact that there were a lot of things to do in between races. And, If you don’t want to bet (which I didn’t) it is still a very exciting atmosphere to be a part of. I enjoyed: socializing (was with group of female bloggers), people watching, walking around the beautiful grounds and rooting for the horses that my friends were betting on. Oh, and I ate and drank too–which is always fun.
Bottom photo: People watching is first rate at Del Mar. It was fun watching strangers congratulate and commiserate.
I didn’t bet, but I did pick up a few betting tips at the track:
Don’t select horses based solely on their names. It is tempting, but I witnessed that plan backfire last night–over and over again. As a matter of fact, we were told it is best not to pick a horse that you haven’t seen first. Apparently, things like whether or not a mare’s ears are standing straight up–matter. If you can’t see the horses, read the booklet the track gives you when you walk through the turnstiles–there is expert analysis in that booklet–so use it.
You don’t have to blow the bank to feel like a winner. I was with women who were thrilled (thrilled!) to have won just $5. That might not seem like a lot (because it isn’t) but it didn’t matter, winning is winning!
And finally, if you need help, ask for it. I found the staff at the Del Mar Race Track to be very friendly and helpful. I don’t know about other tracks, but Del Mar appeared to be fully staffed and everyone I encountered seemed to genuinely enjoy their job–which is always a plus!
Top photo: Mo Cheese, turned out to be less.
Middle photo: Research is key–study the booklet!
Bottom photo: I meant to check to see if this jockey won last night–don’t think he did, but you’ve got to love his sense of optimism!
Disclaimer: I attended the Del Mar Race Track as part of a Girls Night Out blogger event. I did not pay for admission or parking. No one told me I had to write this post; I did so, because I truly had a great time and wanted to share it with you.
All photos in the post were taken by me and are mine, but I’ll loan them to you if you ask nicely.